Page 6 - Configuration of the Council of the European Union
P. 6

Structural Setup of the Council of the EU

              Before  an  initiative  goes  to  the  Council  for  approval,  it  is

       discussed at the level of permanent representations of member states to
       the European  Union. The permanent representations  are embassies  of
       EU  member  states  which  work  exclusively  on  EU-related  issues  in

       contrast to bilateral embassies which are also stationed in Brussels but
       only  deal  with  bilateral  topics  of  relations  with  the  Kingdom  of
              The  permanent  representations  are  headed  by  permanent

       representatives  –  ambassadors  who  form  a  special  committee  -
       COREPER         (abbreviation      of      the      French       Comité
       des représentants permanents). There are COREPER I and COREPER II.

       COREPER II is a meeting of ambassadors which discusses topics such as
       foreign affairs, finances, justice and home affairs while COREPER I, the
       gathering  of  deputy  ambassadors,  debates  on  agriculture,  energy,
       transport, environment, education, sport and culture.

              It  is  worth  mentioning  that  a  sub-structure  to  COREPER  II,
       which is called COEST, is a format of mid-level diplomats. It handles
       EU  relations  with  the  countries  of Eastern  Europe (Armenia,
       Azerbaijan, Belarus, Moldova, Georgia, Russia and Ukraine) and Central

       Asia (Kazakhstan,    Kyrgyzstan,     Tajikistan,   Turkmenistan      and
       Uzbekistan). Once the COEST members find a common position on a
       topic, it moves to COREPER II for further approval before it is finally
       endorsed by the Council of the EU.
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